The logo on Google’s search page Friday featured illustrations of the beloved wildlife conservationist who gained popularity through his TV series “The Crocodile Hunter,” which debuted in 1996 on Animal Planet.
The slideshow gives a look into Irwin’s adventurous life, which included him searching for crocodiles and feeding animals while working at the Australia Zoo.
Irwin’s parents opened the Beerwah Reptile Park, a two-acre wildlife park in Queensland, Australia, in 1970. It became a home for native species like lace monitors, tiger snakes, freshwater crocodiles and kangaroos. Irwin’s mom, Lyn, had a talent for rehabilitating animals and then successfully releasing them back into the wild, as well as for making homemade kangaroo pouches for injured and orphaned joeys, according to the Australia Zoo’s website.
Irwin took over management at the park in 1991. He soon met his future wife, Teri, who was visiting the park from Oregon and had an interest in animal rehabilitation.
“He was actually inside one of the croc enclosures sharing with the visitors just how special crocodiles really are,” she said, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. “I had never heard anyone speak about crocs with such enthusiasm, much less have the calm courage to hand feed one of these giant saurians.”
“I just had to speak to him,” she added. “It was a decision that would change my life forever.”
The couple got married in 1992 and spent their honeymoon on a crocodile rescue mission. They filmed the whole thing, and it later became the first episode of “The Crocodile Hunter” documentary series.
They expanded the park later in the ’90s and changed the name to “Australia Zoo.”
The Irwins had two children, Bindi and Robert, who are also featured in Google’s slideshow.
Steve Irwin died in 2006 after a stingray barb pierced his heart during a snorkeling expedition.
“Steve Irwin was a loving father and husband who dedicated his life to protecting wildlife and wild places,” Terri Irwin said in a statement about the slideshow, which the family worked with Google to produce.
Teri, Bindi and Robert still run the Australia Zoo and host their own Animal Planet show called “Crikey! It’s The Irwins!”
Bindi, who gave a heartfelt speech at her father’s memorial service, has acquired her own fame. She won Season 21 of “Dancing With The Stars” and runs a popular Instagram account that gives a peek into the daily happenings at the Australia Zoo.
Robert appears to have his late father’s spirit and enthusiasm for wildlife when he makes appearances ― with animals in tow ― on late-night TV.
Last year, Steve Irwin was posthumously awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Rest in peace, Steve. Your legacy lives on.
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